YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A battle over books is brewing inside York Central schools. A three-hour meeting on the subject, which became heated at times, was held in York County on Thursday.

Advocates argued that certain books within school libraries should be deemed inappropriate and ultimately stripped from shelves. Opponents argued the decision on what a student can or can not read should be left up to their parents.

The controversy stems from a drafted policy manual known as Library Resources 109.1, which outlines new policies that could limit student access to various reading materials.

“You cannot determine what my child can and cannot handle, you have no idea about my child,” said Amy Milsten of the Central York School District. “It is an actual infringement of our first amendment rights, of our children’s First Amendment rights. It is an infringement of freedom of speech.”

The manual argues that parents have the right to limit access to reading materials too.

Under the policy, parents would be allowed to submit a concern or complaint about school library books that could result in the book being taken off shelves.

“We, as the district, have the right to choose what we house here as a district and anything we don’t house,” said Vickie Guth of the Central York School District.

Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletters!

Opponents argue there are better ways to limit access to certain books, which they claim can be done through the districts library system, if parents don’t want their children reading them.

The district faced backlash over what some describe as “book banning” before. In 2021, an email was sent to teachers with a list of resources they were told not to use in the classroom, which included dozens of books about race and racism, mostly by black authors.

“Those books that were already in our libraries weren’t removed from our libraries,” said Nicole Montgomery, director of communications and marketing for the Central York School District.

More recently, three books found in libraries throughout the school district have been challenged.

“One for ‘Push’ by Sapphire, one for ‘A Quart of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J Mass, and then sold by Patricia McCormick,” Montgomery added.

For now, the books in question remain on library shelves in the Central York School District while the adoption of Policy 109.1 is pending.